Friday, September 09, 2005

Time to “Draw Down” in Iraq ?

Hurricane Katrina – and whatever other storms may follow this season – give us an excellent reason to review our continuing involvement in Iraq.

A constitutional referendum is scheduled next month , and, assuming it is approved , Iraq can become self-governing not long afterwards.

It’s time to sit down with the Iraqis and say : “ Look: we have problems of our own to deal with now. These are problems that will require most of our energy and our funds. You’re going to have to take control of your own destiny – for good, or for evil.”

I would also tell the Iraqi people they have choices to make: Will they drift back into dictatorship ? Become a battleground for warring religious beliefs ? Fall prey to demagogues ? Will they sink ---or are they willing to do what it takes to swim ?

In October, I would withdraw all of our National Guard units. (We need them at home , more than we need them in Iraq. ) By Christmas, I would bring all Reservists home – especially those who have completed their original tours of active duty. This would get the message across more clearly : It’s now “showtime” in Iraq.

Should the Iraqi government request our military assistance , let’s stand ready to furnish it – as long as it doesn’t entail the favoring of one faction over another ; but let’s be plain : our primary goal should be the withdrawal of all of our forces – with the possible exception of highly specialized skeleton crews.

Iraq has been freed , and has been deterred from nuclear adventurism. We have acquitted ourselves honorably but cannot be the World’s Babysitter –
not when we have massive problems at home.

Mr. President : Let’s bring ‘em on home !

Since writing this, I've had opportunity to read Michael Yon's dispatch from Iraq.

Michael is in profound disagreement, and presents excellent reasons for his stand.


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